Semi-truck hits, kills bicyclist in San Luis Obispo

June 25, 2021

A bicyclist was killed Friday morning in a crash with a semi-truck in San Luis Obispo.

Shortly after 7 a.m., 61-year-old Salvador Cortez was riding his bicycle northbound on Higuera when a semi-truck driver attempted to turn east onto Suburban Road, and crashed into the bicycle.

Cortez died at the scene.

San Luis Obispo police are investigation the fatal crash.


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My condolences to the family of Salvador Cortez and sympathy for the truck driver, too. He must feel terrible. As I am an avid bike rider myself and live near that intersection, I ride through it regularly and understand the danger there. It is clear that both the truck driver and the cyclist could have avoided this tragic accident by being more cautious, but legally, it would appear to me that the driver is likely at fault. Salvador was in a bike lane to the right of the truck. Though he should have been more cautious, he could legally pass slower moving traffic on the right (CVC 21754) The truck, however, according to CVC 22100 & 21717, should have started its turn by signaling and moving closer to the curb and into the bike lane up to 200 feet before the intersection. This is also recommended in the Commercial Driver’s Handbook for trucks (p.2-21). In practical terms, it cuts off any bikes that may try to pass on the right and clearly alerts cyclists to the upcoming right turn. Once the truck got to the intersection, it would have been safe for it to start a “buttonhook” turn with no risk of cyclists passing on the right. That particular intersection is specifically designed to allow trucks to safely complete the buttonhook turn as the stop line on Suburban keeps cars at the stop light more than 50 feet back from the intersection. Let’s hope the police report recognizes these facts.


Just yesterday, I was making a left on Madonna, (heading to get waters before the show) we were in the left lane, coming off the south bound exit of 101, The light turned Green, Some curly haired dude came ripping across on a bike, from the right, right in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and barely missed him. Even though it would have been his fault. How do you deal with ,explaining to the Grandkids why we missed going to the Circus because of this fool riding his bike in a suicial manner? Thank God, Thank God! I saw this fool!


The picture on the KSBY news site and the telegram showed the truck had made a right turn onto Suburban road, the bike was under the front bumper, this tells me the bicyclist was on the wrong side of the street.


Let me clairfy that if he was on Surburban road, if he was on Higuera, then the truck had made a grave mistake, the article above states bike on Higuera, but the picture showed Suburban.


The cyclist was on Higuera going straight. The truck crossed the cyclist’s path turning right. If you count the bike lane as a traffic lane, the truck was turning from the middle of three lanes, clearly in violation of the Vehicle Code which requires vehicles to turn from the lane closest to the curb.

Eyes Everywhere

The bicyclist was most likely his way to work in a low-paying job and the bicycle was the only mode of transportation he had. I bet that is a scenario that we will soon discover.


Sal was actually a well paid consultant, advising government employees on retirement issues and such. Most of the police officers reporting to the scene probably knew him.


Condolences to the family of the deceased.

However; Cyclists have gotten out of control in slo county! The entitlement is astounding imo. Riding 3-5 wide side by side, clearly inhibiting on traffic. Riding on the white line defining the bike lane as close to traffic as possible. No hand, light, or signals otherwise from most. And an attitude of invincibility.

It was only a matter of time.

Bikes, likes scooters, skateboards, golf carts, horses, go carts etc; DO NOT BELONG ON ROADS with over 25mph speed limits. Take your toy to a playground where it belongs.


Bicyclists have the right to share the road. Motorists need to keep their eyes open for bicycles, pedestrians, and particularly MOTORCYCLES! But then again SLO is “progressive” which means that bicyclists, motorcycles, and young people are not welcome. That also means no parties, no celebrations, and no fun either. I’m glad I moved out. It used to be a friendly small town. Not anymore. RIP Salvador.


For cyclists, and all those things you listed, there has to be equal cooperation and consideration for all parties involved. Without that, banning those things is what has to be done. You teach others how to treat you.


I talked to a dude who went down to Air-Vol Block with his trailer to get 190 capstones that morning. They only had 30. Air-Vol having only 30 of anything was unthinkable in the past. He was pretty annoyed. On leaving he saw the dead cyclist right after the accident, made him think that maybe his day could have been worse. He was no longer angry about not getting his capstones.